While students are away, night janitors keep college clean

by Nicki Vanhoever

Many students take for granted that the classrooms and facilities at Simpson are clean and well-kept. However, while most students were sleeping, several members of Simpson’s custodial staff were hard at work maintaining the college.

Junior Luke Cerveny works in the library and has seen a part of the crew a few times.

“They don’t usually come in until 11:30 or 12 so I don’t usually see them,” Cerveny said.

The night staff rarely has interaction with students, unless they happen to see them studying around campus.

“Everyone in our crew has been to a 20-hour course where they have learned the importance of cleaning for health first and not just for appearance,” said Jesus Mendez, director of campus services. “We know we have the best custodians in the field and moms and dads can rest assure that their kids are well taken care of here at Simpson College.”

The night crew differs from the day crew in many ways. The night shift begins at 10:45 p.m. and ends at 7:45 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and the day shift begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. The night shift is in charge of all the buildings that close at night.

“This shift operates and performs a very indispensable task that some of us take it for granted,” Mendez said. “They are responsible to provide a fresh and healthy learning and working environment for most of us who occupy this campus.”

The day shift is in charge of open areas and dorms.

“These folks are often dealing with students’ requests in the dorms and get to be their friends by the end of the school year,” Mendez said.

At night the custodial staff comes across many out-of-the-ordinary situations.

Custodial Night Supervisor Luanna Curtis recalls one such occasion.

“There were some students playing in the mud outside,” Curtis said. “The police went by with sirens on and scared them. One ended up running through a window, so that left us with mud and a trail of blood to clean up.”

Some buildings, such as College Hall and Mary Berry, have been known to house bats.

Also, the fact there are so many activities held at night makes the night staff’s job different from the day staff.

“In the day time we are all in the offices or in classrooms,” Mendez said. “At night is a whole different story, you have social events, sports activities, library studies and other student activities.”

Ever since the beginning of spring break, the custodial staff has been hard at work preparing the campus for the upcoming inauguration. The night crew has been making sure to keep everything looking nice and neat.

“This week is important for all of us and we want to do an exceptional job to get the facilities ready for all the guests coming this weekend,” Mendez said. “As you know, it is easier to mess things up than to clean them up. So if we spend a great deal of time cleaning up now, chances are they will stay clean for at least a week. As for the night crew, they are as proud of their work as I am.”